At the beginning of the book, Kel hires a maidservant. Lalasa is the niece of one of the palace servants and her uncle begs Kel to take her. He claims that Lalasa has been treated badly by some people and that she will be left alone if she has a proper mistress. With some trepidation, Kel accepts and hires Lalasa. On the very first day of training, Kel also adopts a ragtag dog who calls himself Jump.
Through Daine , the Wildmage, Jump communicates that he wants to stay with Kel.
Even though she does her best to leave him with Daine, he always manages to return. After Kel has fought her way through all the training, survived all the ordeals, she is finally allowed to take the 'Big Examinations,' the test given to all fourth-year pages to allow them to train to be squires. It is then that Kel faces the greatest test of all.
She must choose between her duty or her dream. During the course of the book, Kel develops a crush on Neal, which he does not return. It also seems that Cleon has feelings for her, and shows them on one occasion. Sign In Don't have an account? Start a Wiki. Contents [ show ]. It's difficult to maintain a likable character despite this, but Hobb expertly builds Fitz shortcomings as natural learning experiences. Fitz never becomes perfect, and that's what makes him feel so real. With a Martin-esque plot and Jim Butcher pace, The Axe and the Throne is a definite "must read" for even the pickiest fantasy fans.
In his stunning debut, Ireman has built the type of world so vivid and engrossing that leaving it at the end is agony. In spite of leaning toward grimdark, where authors often enshroud every scene in depressing darkness, there is no lack of cheerful moments or brilliant scenery. Yet the pangs of near-instant nostalgia that come after you put down a book like this have less to do with the inspired setting, and far more to do with those who inhabit it.
From savage, unremorseful heroes, to deep, introspective villains, the cast of this story is comprised of believable characters capable of unthinkable actions. And it is these characters -- the ones you wish you could share a drink with or end up wanting to kill -- that forge the connection between fantasy and reality. Keethro, Titon, Ethel, Annora. These are names you will never forget, and each belongs to a man or woman as unique as they are memorable.
No book would be complete without a its fair share of intrigue, however, and there is no lack of it here.
The Curse of Oak Island | Grove Atlantic
Each chapter leaves you wanting more, and Ireman's masterful use of misdirection leads to an abundance of "oh shit" moments. Do not be fooled or do -- perhaps that's part of the fun by storylines that may appear trope-ish at first. This is no fairytale. Earthsea Cycle. This award-winning novel takes the classic coming of age story and gives it a dark spin. We follow Ged, a young, brash wizard who plays with forces beyond his control. Thinking his magic school training makes him next to invincible, he unleashes a shadow that threatens the world.
Much of the book follows Ged's mental and physical journey as he comes to terms with his mistake and tries to hunt down the evil he has released. There are dragons, rivals, battles, and everything you want out of traditional fantasy. However, with her lyrical narration, Le Guin manages to turn it into a much deeper lesson. It's an exploration of our thirst knowledge, the temptation of power, and the darkness that lies inside of all of us. It details redemption, love, and the need for balance in all things. A blend of sci-fi and fantasy, Frank Herbert's Dune created a foundation for many of the themes in modern genre fiction.
Its exploration of ecology, pacifism, and mysticism pairs with a story of destiny to remain relevant fifty years after its publication. However, underneath that apt commentary lies a powerful coming of age story. The story follows Paul Atreides, the heir of a family that controls the planet of Arrakis. In a layered, complex world of religion and politics, Paul becomes a hero and messiah. This happens not in a sudden rush of circumstance but slow and painful progress through training. Throughout it, Herbert weaves an expertly adapting mental state. The protagonist comes to understand the meaning of equality, love, and most importantly, time.
Dune is not an easy read. It's wordy, jargon-filled, and examines difficult but important concepts. But if you can get past Herbert's initial learning curve, you'll find a rich world that's only overshadowed by its use of character. This trope-defying series is often compared to Harry Potter, The Wizard of Earthsea, and other defining novels. When you get down to it, though, The Magicians' cynical attitude provides a completely different experience.
The characters in Grossman's series aren't perfect, they aren't nice, and they're not happy. The main character, Quentin, is depressed, overly-analytical, and book-obsessed. His hopes mirror that of any fantasy reader that the world of his favorite novel actually exists. Except, when it does turn out to be real, it solves nothing. Sure, magic exists, but Quentin is now in a school full of geniuses.
Though he learns to control his magic, think critically, and do great things, he must ultimately learn to accept that he's not outstanding, and nor is anyone else. Likewise, the heroes from his novels aren't as great as they're cracked up to be.
In fact, they're kind of assholes. At its heart, The Magicians is a story of growing up. Not an idealistic, censored version, but one of real significance. Grossman doesn't shy away from sex, drugs, swearing or death. The overarching message is that no matter which world you're in, internal struggles will always catch up to you. Pratchett's immensely successful Discworld gets the most attention of his works, but amongst those works lie unrelated novels that deserve even more praise.
Nation is one of those, and may even be the best novel he's written. The book is essentially in a parallel earth, detailing the story of a boy who has lost not just his family, but his entire tribe. His only company is Daphne, a westerner and sole survivor of a shipwreck. It has Pratchett's textbook humor and vivid writing, but wrapped up in it is a tale of growth and emotion. Through its incredible characters, Nation tells a story not just of death, but of creation.
Through it, Pratchett examines the internal voice both characters hold their rules and traditions that must be questioned to move forward. By doing so, he creates a feeling of connection and a story that's simultaneously, sad, funny, and poignant. It will leave you laughing and crying, and, most importantly, thinking.
Western settings. Farm boys. Spoilt rich kids. Often, coming of age fantasy hits you over the head with unsubtle interactions and world-building. Abraham's Long Price Quartet does not fit into that category. It's a gentle piece. There's intricate world-building, a heavy focus on character progression, and little need for action. The World consists of city states with an asian inspiration, each looking to gain political influence.
This is where much of the novel lies. Not in fighting, or magic, though both are present, but human interaction. Part of that is presented in the growth of characters, which is presented in an entirely unique way. Each book in the series is spaced fifteen years apart, presenting a change in the characters that can only be achieved by time. The central character is Itani, a laborer who is much more than he pretends to be. The Long Price Quartet follows him from the age of 12 through to 80, and from a young boy to an emperor. Ambitious in its timeframe, the series is much more than the sum of its parts, and far more nuanced than can be described in a short summary.
This Hugo and Nebula nominee goes outside the realm of traditional fantasy in a blend of steampunk and dark magic. Maia is a little more exotic, the subject of an arranged marriage between human and elf. He's considered an abomination, but unfortunate circumstances lead to the young prince reluctantly taking the throne. What follows is a book of politics, intrigue, and friendship. Maia isn't the usual perfect, arrogant protagonist. He's kind and extremely likable. As he's thrust into having more responsibilities, he has to learn many things.
Social skills, dancing, ruling, and, importantly, his own worth. There's no huge scale battles here, no needless action sequences, and that's what makes it special. Addison manages to weave an entertaining story of political intrigue and mystery through her characters alone. There's little romance, little magic. It's entirely about the personal journey. Mark Lawrence's debut series is one that seems to divide readers, and a lot of the criticism comes from its non-traditional take. The story of thirteen-year-old Jorg Ancrath doesn't follow those tropes. Jorg is a sociopath. He's not a good person, he's a killer and a marauder.
He rapes, burns, and tortures, reminiscing in cold detail. This book doesn't ask for empathy like many in the sub-genre. Instead, it keeps readers hooked with a grim fascination and great prose. The protagonist's transformation is less of a transformation of morals, and more in power. The series details Jorgs journey from boy to king, and the things he has to do along the way.
Despite this, Lawrence creates moments that make you question everything. A kind gesture here, a moment of vulnerability there. Just enough to keep you caring, before the horror show begins once more. The fallout will make you wonder if Jorg is the victim of his circumstances, or if he was just born a broken boy. A Song of Ice and Fire. Most of the world has heard of Game of Thrones by now, but R. Martin's book series is still overlooked in favor of the more accessible TV show. For fans of coming of age, that could be a huge mistake.
There are many ways A Song of Ice and Fire differs from its counterpart, and one of those is the depth and growth of younger characters. Martin's tale is a slow and weaving one, taking the perspective of many characters in the third person. With this variety comes multiple coming of age stories. In just one family there's growth in swordsmanship, magical ability, and inner strength. Then there's the story of Daenerys Targaryen, from girl to Khaleesi, and from Khaleesi to the mother of dragons. However, Martin's novels are set apart by a realistic portrayal of not just "good" characters, but bad ones too.
Joffrey Baratheon is one of the most hated names in fantasy, yet he still manages to present a story of growth not in morals, but in power, insecurity, and the lengths he's willing to go to. The contrast is tied together with the incredible blend of politics, death, and betrayal the series is known for. This incredible series has inspired countless children and a good number of adults too.
In a time when coming of age stories were incredibly popular, L'Engle's books stood above the rest in their refusal to conform. A Wrinkle In Time tells the story of Meg Murry and her brother Charles as they travel through time and space to rescue their father. It's a simple plot at its core, but with tons of hidden depth. Meg is not the subject of typical 60s girl books. She's awkward, wears braces, and has bad eyesight.
In some ways, she parallels to J. K Rowling's Hermione. Throughout the course of the series, she comes to realize that intelligence and family are more important than her appearance. It's a growth in unconformity, self-confidence, and the ability to ask the right questions. L'Engle's work shines just as much in secondary characters such as Calvin, the love interest. Though he lacks Meg's mathematical intelligence, his journey is no less poignant. It's an evolution in thinking, self-acceptance, and love. These themes combine with an overall conflict of good versus evil, creating a christian story that's as entertaining as it is thought-provoking.
Kan Savasci: a legend, a warrior, a mage… hero and villain. Tears of a Heart marks the tale of a young man, Aeden, who unwittingly shapes the world. The writing is beautiful, layered, and timely. Chase Blackwood weaves an intricate tale that hints at so much more. And that may be its greatest challenge. Tears of a Heart, the first book in the series, was beautifully written, and interesting. It shows us an amazing world filled with detail and depth, but for a portion of it, just a touch slow.
The writing, such beautiful writing, overshadows this, as does the ending. Tower of the Arkein , the next book in the series, is where the story truly begins to unfold, and where Chase Blackwood shines as an author. It is fast paced, full of action, adventure, and love. A very strong entry in the fantasy genre, and if the next book is equally as good, expect it to make quite a splash. You can buy on Amazon now. This trilogy offers another refreshing take on traditional coming of age stories. Often in fantasy, magic is seen as a way out for the protagonist.
It lets them move away from their humble beginnings to a magic college where everything is better. In McKillip's world, that's not quite true. The wizards are all dead, and the only way to uncover their secrets is through riddles. Morgon is not a peasant boy, he's the ruler of a farming island called Hed. He's not happy with adventure, or the dangerous journey through magic. Unfortunately, he was born with three stars on his head, marking him for prophecy.
However, this prophecy is not complete, and Morgon spends much of the novel reluctantly trying to figure out who he is and what he's supposed to be. The result is a hero with a real sense of vulnerability, both internally and in his ability to defend himself. His journey is a slow one, stretching out across the whole trilogy, tied together with elegant prose, unique magic and incredible attention to detail. Ostensibly a Science Fiction read, but when you dig down deep, it's a book that can easily cross over into the fantasy sphere.
This series gets a lot of comparisons, not least with Divergent and The Hunger Games. The truth, however, is that though Red Rising presents a similar, dystopian setting, the parallels do it a disservice. At its core, the series is closer to high and epic fantasy. It has a slow pace, a nuanced world, and steady character development. Brown tells the story of sixteen-year-old Darrow, a miner on Mars who is at the very bottom of society's rungs. His only hope of a pleasant life is to win a 'laurel' from his overlords, providing goods and luxuries for his group. Thankfully, he's no ordinary person, possessed with reflexes and abilities that put him above the average miner.
Throughout the course of the series, Darrow works his way to the upper echelons of society in a world far more brutal than others in its genre. In his quest, he must face the realization that everything he knew was a lie and risk his life in a twisted and bloody contest. In the words of the author:.
Gaiman is one of the biggest names in modern fantasy, and for good reason. His ability to craft fairytale-like, lyrical stories is almost unparalleled. With The Graveyard Book, he goes a little outside of that norm, presenting us with a slightly darker story. Despite being for children, the novel starts with a very macabre tone.
Following a triple homicide, Nobody Owens seeks a new family in his local graveyard. Adopted by ghosts, vampires and other creatures, he makes his home among the tombstones.
In a blend of creepy and sweet, the author manages to appeal to a whole spectrum of ages. Along the way, Nobody learns to use magic, the history of the ghosts, and the truth about his parents killer. More importantly, though, he struggles to gain the skill to return to the world of the living. Gaiman's book draws parallels with the same challenges children face today, raising questions about traditional upbringings and if you can truly be prepared for adulthood. Entwined in that is a brilliant exploration of death and living in spite of loss.
It's impossible to even gauge the impact Tolkien had on the genre when he created The Hobbit. It's the grandfather of coming of age fantasy, inspiring generations of authors to create. It was written as a simple story for his children, but its brilliance gave it international acclaim. Now, Bilbo is not the age you'd expect for such a story. At the start of the novel, he's 50 years old. Not ancient by hobbit standards, but not young either.
Top 50 Best Coming of Age Fantasy Books
Still, it's hard to deny that the book fits into this list. It's a story of dragons, magic, and great evil. It details elves, trolls, orcs, and more. But the underlying theme is Bilbo's growth into his true self. At the start of The Hobbit, he's shy, complacent, happy to live a simple life. By the time the journey ends, he is an adventurer, a legend, and much more confident.
The events in the novel serve primarily as a catalyst for Bilbo's change, forcing him to rely on his own strengths. It's this aspect that makes the tale so relatable, reaching across age brackets to bring joy to both adults and children. Tolkien's unmatched world-building, lyrical prose, and standout characters only enhance this, creating a must-read for any fantasy fan. It's an incredible accomplishment for Polish video game studio CDProjekt, but much of that success comes from the work of one man, Andrzej Sapkowski.
Though his stories are popular domestically, Sapkowski didn't hit it quite as big outside of eastern Europe. Thankfully, that's not due to any lack of quality. More than anything, The Witcher series promises a unique experience. There's nothing that quite matches the brooding, creature-infested world and its incredible depth. The story follows Geralt, a mutated monster-hunter or 'Witcher', and his protege, Ciri.
Best Strong Female Heroine Fantasy Books
It's in her that we see the main transformation. Born with elven blood, she will soon come into incredible power. Eager to protect her, Geralt and the other Witchers teach her to slay monsters, use a sword, and figure out her magical abilities. Throughout, Sapkowski manages to expertly juggle emotional scenes, action sequences, and politics to create a series that is an easy equal to its sister games.
The Wheel of Time sits next to Tolkien's series as some of the most distinguished fantasy series of all time. That's not an accident, it's an incredible epic that starts with a strong but familiar coming of age story. Rand starts in a small farming community and makes his way into legend. The premise has been done hundreds of times before, though admittedly Jordan got in pretty early. However, this book transcends those simply by its incredible attention to detail in world building and character.
Every person in this series is a living, breathing human, and none more so than Rand. Jordan follows the classic 'chosen one' trope, quickly establishing Rand as the dragon reborn. Joined by Mat and Perrin, he avoids the dark creatures that hunt him. The journey is offset by intense personal battles.
Rand has to accept his destiny, Perrin has to face his fears, and Mat struggles with an evil influence. Everything unfolds so organically that you find yourself completely lost in Jordan's world, carried along by culture, growth, and perfect pacing.
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His Dark Materials. Pullman's multi award-winning series is as inventive as it is emotional. It sits in a parallel to our world, with references to Oxford college yet beautifully crafted fantastical elements. It starts with Lyra, a young orphan, who, like everyone else, has a daemon. It takes the form of various animals, mirroring the soul of the human and settling into a final form with adulthood.
In that single element, Pullman manages to weave a coming of age into the heart of his story. There's a layered plot of other worlds, child thieves, and polar bears, tied together through the perspective of Lyra. It's far from predictable, forcing the reader and protagonist to confront their views as she's thrust into dangerous situations. With sparse prose, it describes the growth from a disobedient child to a strong young woman.
It's hard to say what makes this series so special, but there's no question that it is just that. It has all the elements of a generic fantasy story an orphan, thieving, an island city. Yet Lynch manages to tell a story so compelling and fresh that it makes you evaluate your bias for those tropes. Some of that is thanks to the brilliance that is Locke Lamora. The list is in order by year, and within each year it is in alphabetical order. It includes books published under the names Nora Roberts, J.
Robb, and Jill March. The complete listing of J. Robb novels, in series order, can also be found at In Death. The years listed below are the years the novels or novellas were originally issued.